Sports retailer doubles warehouse capacity as part of seven-figure investment

Total Hockey in Banbridge sees online sales treble after 2017 acquisition

Total Hockey investment
Ulster Bank’s Derick Wilson pictured with Alan McMurray (left) and Steven McMurray of Total Hockey/ Picture: Brian Thompson (Brian Thompson)

A Banbridge-based sports retailer has announced plans for a seven-figure investment to expand its warehouse capacity.

Total Hockey, established over two decades ago by brothers Alan and Steven McMurray, is one of the leading specialist hockey equipment retailers in the UK and Ireland.

The investment in the company’s base of operations in Banbridge - backed by Ulster Bank - will double its storage capacity to accommodate growing demand for its field hockey equipment in domestic and international markets.

It comes as the fourth-generation entrepreneurs report a three-fold increase in online sales since acquiring Scottish rival Gilmour Sports in 2017.

Steven McMurray said: “Our online sales volumes sky-rocketed after we acquired Gilmour Sports and integrated its digital platforms into the Total Hockey business.

“By then e-commerce had been an important part of our offering, but it marked a significant turning point for us. Online quickly became our primary sales channel and where our biggest opportunities for growth lie.”

Alan McMurray added: “Alongside our online business, we manage most stock orders for our store network from Banbridge. The space wasn’t equipped for the volume of orders being fulfilled, so we made the decision to double our footprint – our largest ever capital investment in the business.

“The additional space will allow us to be much more efficient in how we manage the flow of goods in and out of the business.”

Banbridge town centre. Picture: Mal McCann
Banbridge, where the McMurray family have been part of the business community for over 100 years. Picture: Mal McCann

Ulster Bank business development manager Derick Wilson said: “The McMurray family have been part of the local business community for over 100 years and we’re proud to have been a partner to several generations of entrepreneur for much of that rich history.

“It’s a family enterprise that has continually adapted to the market it operates in to identify new opportunities, first as an early adopter of online retail in the 2000s to acquiring Gilmour Sports in 2017 to further strengthen its online business.

“Ulster Bank provided the funding for that acquisition, and we’re pleased to continue to support Alan and Steven with an investment that will help Total Hockey respond to demand now while also building capacity for future growth.”

Total Hockey operates retail stores in Banbridge, Belfast, Dublin and Brentford. Its online business exports hockey goods to international markets including Europe, North America, Latin America, and Australia.